Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sad Chapter

While the red shirt protests dominate the news, another sad, and perhaps the last, chapter was written into the death of Police Colonel Sompien, who was killed by terrorists in one of Thailand's southern provinces.  As I blogged a few weeks ago, Colonel Sompien was serving his last year with the Thai police force before his retirement.  Insurgents in the south had placed a bounty on his head, so he had requested a transfer during the annual police reshuffle.  Unfortunately, Colonel Sompien lacked the connections and money to make that happen, and he was killed by insurgents.

The investigation has already been concluded and determined that there was no wrong doing in the police reshuffle that caused the death of the Colonel.  I'm not sure how anyone could have expected anything different.  After all, what how can the value of the life of a relatively unimportant Colonel possibly be more important than the potential embarrassment to those who profit and thrive from the system.   Its just so sad.

If the red shirts really want a symbol of how the "elite" oppress the "peasants", Colonel Sompien is a much more compelling, if less wealthy, figure.  He spent his life serving Thailand; and in the end he gave his life.  There were powerful people who could have stopped that, who could have transferred him.

Try to imagine a similar situation in the U.S.  If a police officer requested a transfer because there was a bounty put on his head by people who are more than willing to shoot at law enforcement officers, do you believe that he would be simply denied?  His superiors very well might transfer him even if he requested to stay.  If somehow the request was denied resulting in the officer's death, there would be an enormous public outcry.  There wouldn't be a "quick and easy" investigation.

So why don't the red shirts use this against the government?   This all happened during the last police reshuffle which was overseen by the current government.  Why not take this opportunity to show the hypocrisy of the current government.  They might ask how can the current government pursue the former PM for corruption with such vengeance while turning a blind eye to what seem like enormous problems with the police reshuffle process.

Why not?  Well, their silence is telling.

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